Make it Naked


Roasted Beet and Citrus Salad

Hi! I’m back from an incredible vacation in St Thomas. I plan on telling you all about it but first I feel the need to shove some healthy fruits and veggies in your face. It appears we’ve returned home to some sort of flu epidemic. Please, go wash your hands and come back. I’ll wait.

When I travel, particularly on planes, I transform into some health-freak germaphobe. Jon loves it. This may have happened when he reached for the magazines in the plane’s seat pocket.
“What are you doing? Eww. Don’t touch that!”
“You are unbelievable.”
“Whatever. Use this.” Dousing him in hand sanitizer without consent.

Once we were home, everyone that I talked to was sick or knew someone that was sick. I told him that I didn’t want to leave the house.
“I work from home and I can workout in the basement. I don’t need to leave.”
“So you’re not going to leave the house for the next 10 weeks of flu season? That’ll workout.”

So he’s right.*  I’ll go on with my daily routine, including occasionally leaving the house, but  I’ll certainly be overdosing on leafy greens, nutrient-dense veggies and colorful fruits. I’ll start with this salad. Simple, gorgeous and packed full of healthy goodness.
*Just this once.

There is so much misplaced beet-hate in this world. They are totally disrespected. I’ll spare you my rant but just a warning, next time we’re at a party together, don’t ask me about beets. I might just put you to sleep rambling on about how fresh beets aren’t even comparable to their canned counterpart. Or how I think all beet-haters just haven’t had a good, fresh, salted, roasted beet. Or how I don’t understand why we dye food with Red #40 when beet juice is a perfect candidate for the job. And just in case you have something against red, I threw in some golden beets too. No excuses. Fresh beets are earthy, sweet and high in folate, manganese and potassium. Really, they’re unbeetable. Had to.

Here, in this salad, the citrus adds even more Vitamins A and C. And the feta…well, have we ever regretted adding feta to anything? Stay healthy, my friends. You know how. Drink water. Sleep. Exercise. Get your greens. Have some fruit. Eat beets. And when none of that can happen, bathe in hand-sanitizer.

Roasted Beet and Citrus Salad (adapted from February 2011 Bon Appetit; serves 4)

For the Salad:
8 beets, washed, trimmed, peeled and sliced (see notes below) I used 1/2 red 1/2 golden
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large pink grapefruit, peeled and thinly sliced
2 oranges, peeled and thinly sliced
4 ounces crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup chopped scallions

For the Vinaigrette:
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
Zest of 1 grapefruit and 2 oranges (from above)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400. Toss the sliced beets with the 2 teaspoons of olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Lay flat on cookie sheet and roast for about 20 minutes.
  2. While the beets are roasting, wash the citrus. Zest the oranges and grapefruit. Combine the zest, vinegar and mustard in a small bowl. Gradually whisk in the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  3. When the beets are through roasting, let them cool to room temperature. Toss the beets with a few tablespoons of the vinaigrette. Place the beets, oranges, and grapefruit slices on a platter. Drizzle with more of the vinaigrette. Top with feta and scallions. Serve chilled or at room temperature.  Serve any extra vinaigrette on the side.

Notes:

  1. The leafy greens on top of beets can be washed and used as you would any other leafy green. They’re bitter so I like cooking them down with a bit of olive oil, lemon and garlic and tossing with pasta.
  2. Peel a raw beet using a peeler just as you would an apple. I highly recommend wearing gloves. Once peeled, slice a side off so there is a flat surface. Lie on the flat surface and cut into thin chip-like slices. I used a knife and got them to be about 1/4 inch. You could probably get them even thinner using a mandolin if desired.
  3. The original recipe serves this on a bed of spinach. It’s flu season. Go for it.

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Posted on January 17, 2013


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